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THE ART OF PAINTING                      249

things grow and decay, how they twist and turn and are sometimes
blocked and compressed, and how they prosper and thrive in freedom.
The roots, stalks, joints, and leaves go through infinite variations,
following different rhythms independent of one another. And yet
they are all true to nature and completely satisfying to the human
spirit. These are records of the inspirations of a great soul, . . .
Those who understand the inner spirit of things and examine these
paintings carefully will see that I am right."

All painting is unconscious reflection of a philosophy. Chinese paint-
ings unconsciously express the oneness of man with nature and the
essential unity of the great mystic procession of life in which the human
being occupies but a smalj and transitory part. In this sense, the so-
called impressionistic Chinese painting, whether of a twig of bamboo,
a group of gnarled roots, or rain in the mountains, or snow over the
river, is a pantheistic revelry. The complete identification of the painter
with the painted object cannot be more clearly expressed than in the
poem Su Tungpo wrote about a picture of bamboos and rocks which
he painted on the wall of a friend's house.

"Receiving the moisture of wine,
My intestines sprout and fork out,
And from out my liver and lungs
Shoot rocks and bamboos,
Surging through my breast, irresistible,
They find expression on your snow-white wall"